Interoute, the global cloud and network provider, has revealed new survey results showing almost two-thirds (63 percent) of businesses across Europe are anticipating high growth in the year ahead. Reassuringly despite its turbulent outlook, the UK was only slightly behind the European average at 61 percent. As the political climate presents opportunities for those countries and companies that can move at pace, on average 70 percent believed Britain leaving the EU was an opportunity for their company.
In the survey of over 800 European IT decision makers, business confidence surrounding Britain leaving the EU was highest in France (83 percent) and Belgium (78 percent) but lowest in Sweden (49 percent). While the outlook surrounding Brexit was generally positive across Europe, 63 percent of IT leaders anticipate it could ultimately result in the disintegration of the EU. In Germany (78 percent), France (70 percent) and Italy (66 percent) this belief was significantly stronger.
Given the changing political climate, 95 percent admitted Brexit specifically had impacted their decision-making process. While, 96 percent said the overall current political uncertainty in Europe (e.g., US and Russian foreign policy) had impacted their decision-making. As organizations have been forced to respond to the changing business landscape, the majority of IT leaders have shifted their infrastructure choices to focus on driving more agility. In total, three in five European organizations (61 percent) are pursuing new digital transformation projects. The UK follows closely behind the European average with 60 percent of IT decision makers investing in technology that allows them to continuously innovate and maintain a competitive edge.
Across Europe, the top drivers for digital transformation projects were cited as reducing costs by improving operations (46 percent), enhancing the employee experience through more mobile and social capabilities (45 percent) and improving the customer experience (41 percent). However, in the UK, enhancing the employee experience emerges as the top priority for nearly half of the companies (45 percent), which may indicate a desire to improve employee productivity and create great customer experiences.
Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, commented, “The UK and mainland Europe is in the middle of a period of political uncertainly, which is impacting IT decision makers across all sectors. The more ambitious organizations see this as a time of opportunity where the right technology investments will result in high growth and an enhanced experience for employees and customers alike. Changing foreign policy politics, Brexit and even new GDPR regulations are forcing organizations to review the legal, financial and operational aspects of their business. Digital transformation is about creating an organization that is flexible enough to respond to market and geopolitical changes. Organizations that move now to ensure they have the right digital infrastructure foundation in place will undoubtedly be the best placed to succeed in these uncertain times.”
The results of this survey are taken from the report, “The challenges facing European IT decision makers engaged in digital business transformation,” that explores the factors governing IT decision-making and how senior IT professionals are preparing for change. Click here to download your copy: http://www3.interoute.com/press/Euro-Digi-Research.